Faribault Loses Region 3C Opener
The Prior Lake Mudcats scored in nearly every inning on their way to a 7-2 victory over #3 seed Faribault Lakers today at Bell Field.
The Lakers made their journey to the State Tournament harder in the double elimination contest. Four of the eight teams in the Region go to the State Tournament.
Faribault Manager Charlie Lechtenberg's Grandmother passed away so it was announced at the game he would not be there but he did come to the park a couple innings into the game.
Taking nothing away from the Mudcats win, Faribault did look like a team in mourning. Not a lot of pep shown and a couple of plays they would normally make were not executed during the game.
Egan Bonde was the starting pitcher for the Lakers. He came into the game with a 4-1 record, 3.93 ERA and opponent batting average of .265. Bonde threw the most innings of any Lakers pitcher during the regular season (55). The lefthanded pitcher had 10 walks and 44 strikeouts.
After starting the game with a strike out looking to the first batter, Jonny Houston got an infield single followed by a Corbin Cross triple and the Mudcats were in the lead.
In the bottom of the first inning Faribault got a two out Nate Rost double placing runners at second and third but a ground out ended the inning.
In the top of the third inning Houston connected for another one out single by jumping on the first pitch. With two outs cleanup hitter Jake Lehrer hit an infield single just ahead of Cole Bjorge also jumping on the first pitch for an RBI double. B.J. Benz then stroked a 1-1 count 2 run double giving Prior Lake a 4-0 lead.
The inning probably should have ended with no damage because the second out was a pop out in shallow right field that easily would have doubled the runner off first base but the throw was never made.
The Lakers answered in the bottom of the third when Blake Langerud opened the inning with a single. Joe Grote hit a slow roller in the grass the third baseman charged and threw wide of the first base bag scoring Langerud from second base.
Nate Rost worked the count full off Prior Lake pitcher Ben Morrison before delivering a RBI single to cut the MudCats lead in half. The next two Lakers hitters were retired leaving Rost at second base.
Luke Weber worked the count full before a two out 4th inning Prior Lake walk. Houston reached on an error. Cross connected for an RBI single making the score 5-2 Mudcats.
Morrison would retire 10 batters in a row before a Nick Rost two out single in the 6th inning.
Prior Lake added a run in the 5th inning. Cole Bjorge greeted Bonde with a 2-2 count single to open the inning. Bonde was replaced by Tyler Francis.
Benz hit a grounder to Nate Rost at first base. He fired to short to get the lead runner but no relay could be made back to first because Grote had to keep his foot on second base while stretching like a first baseman to make the catch to record the out.
Benz would go to second on a wild pitch and come home on a 2-2 count single by Ben Kelsey. It was 6-2 Mudcats.
Francis gave up a one out walk in the 6th inning to Houston who would steal second base before scoring on a RBI single by Cross who went to second base when the ball was overrun by the left fielder for the Lakers 4th error of the game in my scorebook.
Prior Lake also had 4 errors according to my scorebook which is not official.
Hunter Nelson pitched the final two innings with no runs allowed, 2 hits, 1 strikeout, no walks, 23 pitches, 13 strikes.
The Lakers Nick Rost started the bottom of the 9th with a single followed by an error off a Adam Kline hit ball placing runners at first and second base. Ryan Archambault pinch hit for Dylan Valentyn and flew out to left on a 0-2 count pitch.
The next batter was struck out before Jack Helgeson who came in to play center field in the 7th inning for Langerud reach base on an error to load the bases. A fly out ended the game.
Bonde went the first 4+ innings throwing to one batter in the 5th before leaving with 64 pitches thrown, 46 strikes, 9 hits allowed, 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 5 runs allowed, 4 earned.
Francis tossed 3 innings with 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 4 hits allowed, 2 runs, both earned. He had 40 pitches thrown with 28 strikes.
Morrison tallied 133 pitches, 87 strikes while going the distance for Prior Lake allowing 2 runs, both earned. He gave up 7 hits, had 3 strikeouts, 1 walk. He leads his team in wins picking up his 6th of the year. Morrison came into the game with a 2.04 ERA.
Both teams ended the game with 9 runners left on base, 5 in scoring position.
Faribault plays Tuesday more than likely on the road because the Region doesn't continue highest seed in loser's bracket.
Prior Lake will also play Tuesday.
Are you into arcade games?
Pac-Man Facts: 40 Easily Digestible Bits of Arcade-Game History
Remember Shattuck in Faribault was a military school at one time.
LOOK: 100 years of American military history